Rana Plaza building collapse, April 2013


On 24 April 2013 an eight-story building housing several garment factories collapsed in Savar, near Bangladesh's capital.  The death toll reached over 1,100.  The building Rana Plaza housed Phantom Apparels Ltd., New Wave Style Ltd and New Wave Brothers Ltd. garment factories which reportedly supply major brands including Benetton, Dress Barn, KiK, Mango, The Children's Place, Primark and Wal-Mart.  

Reports made the connection between alleged substandard construction and the triggering of the deadly collapse.  Workers in the building alleged that it had developed severe cracks the day before but they were reassured by a factory manager that it was safe to enter.  Trade unions and labour rights organizations such as Clean Clothes Campaign, IndustriALL Global Union and International Labor Rights Forum called for immediate action on health and safety from international brands that used suppliers in the building, and asked them to sign on to a Bangladesh fire and building safety agreement.  There were also calls for the Bangladesh Govt. to allow workers' freedom of association.  This page tracks developments immediately after the building collapse, and over the period that followed.

Latest additions to this page

Weekly Update on 2 Apr:

Bangladesh collecting details of deadly factory collapse victims for compensation amid protest, Canadian Press, 24 Mar 2014

BRAC USA Announces Renewed Push for Bangladesh Garment Workers, 26 Mar 2014

3 Retailers Give Aid to Bangladesh Workers, Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, 28 Mar 2014

Identities of 146 missing Rana Plaza workers listed, bdnews24.com, 30 Mar 2014

Rana Plaza survivor begins European tour [Bangladesh], Clean Clothes Campaign, 31 Mar 2014

Buyers also responsible, bdnews.com, 1 Apr 2014

Other recent updates:
Bangladeshi workers seek support from U.S. students, Barb Kucera, 27 March 2014

Barcelona to host sustainable fashion show on April 24, Fibre2fashion, 31 March 2014

UK minister in RMG 'check' [Bangladesh], bdnews24.com, 31 March 2014

Weekly Update on 19 Mar:

Rana Plaza brands must pay compensation by 9am on 24 April, Industriall Global Union, 7 March 2014

Rana Plaza Arrangement, Rana Plaza Arrangement, March 2014

Primark Breaks Rank on Bangladesh Compensation, Christina Passariello, Wall Street Journal, 17 March 2014

Rana Plaza survivors fearful as they continue to work in garment factories, Saad Hammadi & Jason Burke, Guardian, 16 March 2014

Labour rights, safety standards below required level, Rezaul Karim, Financial Express, 16 March 2014

Testimonies and videos

Commentaries and debate


Selection of media coverage

In chronological order:

Statements by trade unions and NGOs

In chronological order:

Statements by intl. organizations



United Nations

Statements by multi-stakeholder groups

Company responses to call for Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement

In addition to highlighting statements by companies in the media above, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre sought responses from the following companies to specific calls by Clean Clothes Campaign and International Labor Rights Forum for them to sign on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh [PDF].

Two companies (which were not sourcing from Rana Plaza), had previously agreed to the original version of the Fire and Building Safety Agreement: PVH Corp (announcement here [PDF]) and Tchibo (news item here).

On 13 April, C&A, H&M, Inditex, Primark and Tesco announced that they would join the agreement.  Many others followed: by 16 May over 30 brands had signed on, covering more than 1,000 factories in Bangladesh.  Some US firms are showing more reluctance to join the agreement, see "US companies still resisting Bangladesh worker safety deal," San Francisco Chronicle.

Companies we invited to respond:

Benetton - 8 May 2013 statement [DOC] - has joined the agreement

Bonmarche – 30 Apr 2013 statement [DOC] - has not yet joined the agreement

Carrefour - has now joined the agreement

Cato Fashions - did not respond

Children’s Place - has not yet responded

El Corte Ingles - has now joined the agreement

H&M – 7 May 2013 statement [DOC] - has joined the agreement

Gap - 13 May 2013 statement [PDF] - has not yet joined the agreement

Walmart - 14 May 2013 statement - has not yet joined the agreement

Joe Fresh – 29 April 2013 statement [DOC] - has not yet joined the agreement

Mango – 7 May 2013 statement [DOC] - has joined the agreement

Primark – statements made on 29 Apr, 26 Apr and 24 Apr 2013 - has joined the agreement

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